The Letter I Never Sent

My Dear Friend,

I’m very lonely. In an intangible way that I can’t explain. I feel invisible to our society in a lot of ways that sit so deep in the way I show up in the world. I’m working hard to change this and turn things around but it’s not easy. It sits so heavy in me that I work very hard to reach out without feeling shameful that I’m struggling to connect with what life has to offer.
It’s not the loneliness of missing a person. It’s a heaviness like a cosmic black hole that I keep trying to wade from. I feel it more and more these days. It frightens me. I am grateful for your friendship and what it brings. Some light. Some hope. I hope my honesty doesn’t scare you off and take away from whatever positive reinforcement and trust we might have built over time. You’re receiving this because I trust you implicitly and I wanted to not leave you in the dark about the reality of walking in my shoes. This could be the most honest I’ve been with another person about my darkest continual pain. It’s been with me as far back as I can remember. I keep shaving it back to reveal more light daily. So some days are better than others. Today is a particularly heavy day for reasons unknown to me. I’m not sad. I’m going through a heavy, dark numbness of the soul and it’s frightening. It feels like I’m floating through space. No gravity. And nobody is responsible for it but me.
It’s been a continual state of being for me. What relieves it for me is kindness. The kindness of time spent with another human, kindness of helping me to see outside of my head, kindness of allowing me to “claim” some of your time. The kindness of being reminded that it’s okay to take up space even in times I feel like I don’t deserve my very breath. Those are the things that help ease this difficult experience. I’m yet to discover what the others are.

I hope this has not been too heavy a read but a way to understand the continual darkness I live in. That said, it isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. But it’s the portion I can understand and put into articulate words. The rest for now is expressed in tears. I wish there was a way of capturing them and deciphering what they carry. Until then, I guess these kinds of writings and exposing the darkness to light will serve as an elixir of sorts.
Thank you for your friendship and earning a space that few on the planet have been let in.
It’s no easy feat writing this this morning. Take great care and see you sometime.

Thank you for allowing me the liberty to feel I could trust you with this.

Your friend


Frank Malaba © 2019

Image by Brad Neathery

Published by: Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba is an actor, playwright and a published poet. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He has performed on stage and television in both countries. He has a passion for using poetry, storytelling and theatre as a method of healing for both himself and others. His poetry has been presented both at home and abroad. Frank is currently developing a two-man play entitled “Broken Pathways” which will be touring internationally. In 2014 Frank was recognised by Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans as an Achiever in the category of Arts & Culture.

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